What are Managed IT Services?
What are Managed IT Services?
You have probably heard the term “Managed Services” or perhaps even know of a company that is now utilizing “Managed Services”. Managed Services is the practice of outsourcing day to day responsibilities and functions as a strategic method of improving operations and / or cutting operational expenses. Here we will deal specifically with the outsourcing of “Information Technology” or Managed IT Services.
Utilizing Managed Services allows a business to offload IT operations to a service provider, known as a Managed Services Provider. The managed service provider assumes an ongoing responsibility the current IT systems within a business. This simple move achieves these desirable business objectives:
- Shift to proactive maintenance away from break fix
- Reduce need of internal IT staff and internal IT Help Desk
- Increase monitoring time
- Increase reliability of network
- Broadens technology knowledge base
- Reduced IT and related expenses
Baltimore Consulting has been a local Managed Service Provider since 2004. Let’s take a closer look at each of the above bullet points:
Shift to Proactive Maintenance Away From Break Fix
Historically, companies had little in the way of tools to prevent IT problems. Many managers crossed their fingers hoping that nothing “broke” resulting in down time and a scramble to figure out what went wrong and then fixing the issue. Typical issues included disks running out of space, memory at capacity, failed hard drives and PC issues.
The “break fix” mentality usually morphs into a big checklist of items to look at to ensure the last problem does not occur again. This requires repetitive tasks and is only as good as the items on the list and the diligence of the employee performing the tasks. Typically, the next big issue is something not on the list and the whole scenario repeats with the newly added items causing even more repetitive tasks and additional job load.
Currently, software exists that resides on the network which monitors and measures critical items and risks. The software will signal the upcoming event prior to a bad event occurring. The managed service company can then step in to proactively correct the situation before it becomes an “event”. Managed Services can included automatic software patches, backups and email
Reduce need of internal IT staff and internal IT Help Desk
As any business grows, it requires technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. As the reliance on IT grows, so do the complexities in network, software and process. This requires a minimum one excellent resource. Over time, this resource can become overwhelmed and limited by his / her own knowledge base and capabilities. If your business has compliance requirements, then you are faced with larger staffs to effectively separate duties and functions.
Baltimore Consulting can relieve your organization of the IT network, staffing and the headaches that come with it. Companies have downsized or even eliminated the need of their own internal hire. Of course, Baltimore Consulting will work with your key people if you wish to retain them allowing them to concentrate on higher business objectives.
Baltimore Consulting can act as your outsourced Help Desk, through our integrated ticketing process that your employee’s access on their computers or other connected devices.
Increase Monitoring Time
Let’s face it, some companies have no monitoring in place at all. The next step during normal business hours when active employees notice that something is wrong with “systems”.
Baltimore Consulting sets up full time proactive monitoring which checks hundreds of data points on all servers and connected devices in real time – ALL THE TIME. Alerts are sent to our Managed Service Center and a technician gets to work on the issue. Many times before any interruption is even noticed.
Baltimore Consulting can also manage your tech related vendor relationships. This affords your company an extra level of comfort as we can deal with issues such as internet slowness/outages, phone systems, scanners, printers, copiers, security monitoring, websites, etc.
Increase Reliability of Network
Baltimore Consulting assesses your network and determines its current state and future requirements [both hardware and software], necessary upgrades, patches and future enhancements.
- Proactive monitoring ensures issues are addressed prior to a major event. Alerts can be sent out to key personnel when new hardware is required, not to mention the design and installation can all be handled by Baltimore Consulting.
- Patches can be applied automatically during your company downtime.
- Hardware upgrades can be scheduled at your convenience.
- Automated backups are scheduled and can be replicated securely offsite or to the cloud.
- Security measures and encryption can be put in place.
- All this results in higher uptime, more efficiency and productivity of your staff.
Today, no business can really afford the risk and uncertainty of relying on a “Break-fix maintenance service” because your business is too dependent on having a reliable IT system. Furthermore, having separate suppliers responsible for different parts of the system puts you in the difficult position of trying to decide who should be delivering the service you require. You simply do not have time for this.
Broadens Technology Knowledge Base
As a business owner you can offer continuing education to your staff, internally train or hire more experience. Technology is rapidly changes, so this is a daunting task to say the least.
With outsourced managed services, you do not need to worry about the knowledge of your staff. Your technology base now becomes extended by the years of experience within the Baltimore Consulting organization and the industry experts they work with.
Reduced IT and Related Expenses
Most managed services cost less than traditional in house / break-fix services, especially when including the true cost of downtime. Remote monitoring, remote maintenance and the prevention of major issues allow a managed services provider to be more efficient than traditional in house resources. By leveraging skilled, dedicated technical resources across several clients, Baltimore Consulting can offer managed services at very affordable rates.
Would You Like To Know If Your Company Is Ready For Managed Services?
Baltimore Consulting can evaluate your current needs and propose a solution that makes sense for your organization.